Aug. 19th, 2004

ragani: (venus mirror)
In her (locked) post about her reaction to a lame meeting held at her office on how to dress, [ profile] chicklet73 lists a bunch of ways that she is not "girly" and is OK with it. And, BTW, I am sure you would agree that, despite what she says in her post, she is indeed beautiful.

There are so many types of "girly" style and every girl should have the right to pick and choose which ones work for them.

I had one friend in high school that liked to tell people what a tom-boy she was. See, she needed to tell people this because although she might not have been the girliest girls at our school, she was one of the girliest girls in our circle of friends. She would point out her ripped jeans as an example, but she actually would wear nylons under them!!! She had a dermatologist and got regular manacures, and was a hostest on a cable teen talk show. Not really my idea of a tom-boy.

And speaking of nylons, I once worked temp at a corporation in SF that would actually send people home (or, I guess the nearest pharmacy) if they showed up in a dress or skirt without nylons or tights.

My list would include things like:
I don't like to wear uncomfortable shoes for anyone, least of all just for fashion, so even though I have plenty of shoes, they are primarily comfortable (loafers, boots, comfortable sandles). I am not against spending over a $100 on a nice pair of good comfortable sandals that should last a while and still are nice enough to wear to work or even the opera. In fact, that describes the sandals I have on right now which are similar to these, but with adjustable straps. You gotta love a shoe company that has the motto Proper Size • Perfect Fit.

And the whole handbags obsession is something I just don't get. What a pain having to move all that stuff from one bag to another! I want everything with me without a hassle. In high school I preferred a vest with lots of pockets, and now I tend to use one bag (be it a purse, back pack or some variation therein) until is no longer usable (thanks Leeloo, I guess I was done using that really nifty biker back-pack that my sensi coveted after all, so I guess it is no big deal that you peed on it - not!) and a new one comes into my life (often thanks to my grandma).

I didn't shave (anything) regularly until my late 20's, and even now, I only do when I feel like it. The same is true for manicures and pedicures. More importantly, I didn't start doing either of those until they were for ME and not to please anyone else or some dictates of fashion.

Typically the only times my hair feels the heat of a hair dryer, or even a hair iron of any kind is the couple of times a year that I get my hair cut at a salon. When I get my hair cut I tell the stylist "Do what ever you like, as long as I can put it up in a pony tail or bun, I don't have bangs to fuss with, and it does not take lots of product or styling to be ready."

I really do have a lot to say about this. I guess I should quit and go get lunch instead of making this longer. I will leave you with the lyrics to the India Arie song Video, and a question.

Video )

So, what do the rest of you have on your "you can't make me be girly that way" list?
ragani: (reflection)
So, after my earlier post, which started as a comment to [ profile] chicklet73's post about Fascist Beauty Standards, I have been thinking about the stages I have gone through to come to the beauty routine I am comfortable with now.

I was, as a child, often a tom-boy, although there were also times I liked to dress-up. I preferred stuffed animals to dolls, and my one beat-up second-hand Barbie doll was always the villain when ever I did include her. Many of my clothes were hand-me-downs from my older brother, of which, starting about age 10, I was occasionally teased about.

True to my nature, I have always appreciated aesthetics, even if with somewhat of an eclectic flavor. I was good at art and color at an early age, and have tapped these talents for a career in a creative field (graphic designer, digital artist, and currently sr. art director).

To me, I see being a teenager as being a great time to experiment. After an especially painful break-up in high school, I delved into almost daily make-up explorations and even used a hair dryer regularly (hey, it got cold in Boston during the winter!) I still only ever shaved a couple of times, and mainly for events like attending weddings, and my pits even less.

Through most of college make-up was a rare thing for me, and now that I lived in a warmer climate, I did not even own a hair dryer or iron until I got into things like victorian ballroom dancing, which gave me a good excuse to get dressed-up. I actually wrote a paper in one of my early english courses about how high-heal shoes were one of the ways that woman were oppressed.

I think the next major turning point for me was working in a corporate environment. Having a job where appearance was considered that important was something I had to adjust to. Temping had a big impact on my style and habits. I found myself changing my wardrobe to better match what was suitable for the environment to where I was getting assignments.

The most corporate assignment I ever had is probably the most memorable as far as strict dress-codes were concerned. I heard stories of people being sent home for not wearing nylons with a skirt of dress, and one of the staff was asked to take the corn-row braids out of her (non-afro) hair. I was perplexed as to why they were so uptight about this as nobody in our department ever interacted with clients and we otherwise dressed in a presentable manor.

Something a friend of mine observed was that dressing similar to the level (if not the exact style) of the woman you reported to (this of course better applies to woman who report to woman) was a good way to show respect and ambition to your boss and was more likely to help in your potential for advancement.

Later, when I finally settled into jobs environments that were more creative overall, the dress codes seemed to settle into more of a business casual that I was comfortable with. In fact, I started to notice that others in the creative fields tended to have more eclectic tastes, and were respected when they expressed it through wardrobe and grooming style choices.

Today I am wearing what could be described as a print t-shirt, jeans and sandals outfit, although all are on the dressier side for those items (antique botanical print with latin text, paprika color jean-cut pants and burgundy leather sandals).

My boss is the kind of girl who likes strappy sandals and gets all excited about getting a new handbag, but hardly ever wears make-up. We both like to dress in a range of styles from sporty to dressy, but usually something in between (like I have on today), each preferring styles that suit our individual personality and tastes.

I usually wear some make-up since I am so pale that I like to have some contrast to my features, but nothing too heavy. My minimum (when that is not simply none at all) is a light powder and a lip color that will not come off easily (I was amused to discover that [ profile] abditus hates lipstick marks even more than I do). The next level is some concealer, but hardly ever foundation; light eye shadow, but only occasionally mascara or liner. Oddly, now that I do henna art at the RenFaire, I end up wearing heavier make-up there (to get that exotic eye look) than I do on a typical day. Manicures are something I recently discovered as a good way to relax and be papered. I find that I tend to do it more for the massage and to have someone else clean and trim my nails and cuticles, than for the nail color. Same goes for pedicures, BTW.

Now, a quick word about grooming: keeping clean is an entirely different issue, and I have actually been put in the position of asking a coworker to please wear deodorant because others have complained to our [former] boss about it (she was not comfortable telling him herself but figured since we were friends he would more comfortable hearing it from me). Too much perfume can sometimes be more of a problem than none, and we have actually had people have allergic reactions at my current office over such things. Long hair vs. short hair, on men or woman, is a personal choice, and should, in most cases, not be dictated by a work dress code (IMO), as long as said hair is kept clean (and under wraps if working with food).


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